Jon Stewart met secretly with President Obama to be “cultivated” by the White House.
Politico.com claims that Obama aides took an “unusual step” by “cultivating” Jon Stewart. There aren’t that many people with the influence that Jon Stewart has, so yes, it is unusual because the White House does not cultivate everyone. But we have no idea how many other people with the influence of Jon Stewart might have been given a secret meeting, or two, with the President.
The media seems to habitually claim that various relationships between the government and the media are “unusual” or “unexpected.” Rolling Stone got led into their phony rape story by a person who just happened to be a White House advisor. Imagine that! How unusual!
Every time we hear of such things we are expected to believe that the government influencing us for the sake of their agenda is a rare thing.
Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal’s office.
In February 2014, Obama again requested Stewart make the trip from Manhattan to the White House, this time for a midmorning visit hours before the president would go before television cameras to warn Russia that “there will be costs” if it made any further military intervention in Ukraine.
To engage privately with the president in his inner sanctum at two sensitive moments — previously unreported meetings that are listed in the White House visitor logs and confirmed to POLITICO by three former Obama aides — speaks volumes about Stewart and his reach, which goes well beyond the million or so viewers who tune in to “The Daily Show” on most weeknights.
It also speaks volumes about the reach of the government in its propaganda efforts to secretly manipulate the populace.
Top Obama aides David Axelrod and Austan Goolsbee knew Stewart’s voice mattered and made sure to field calls and emails from the host and “Daily Show” staff.
Like Axelrod, Goolsbee acknowledged he would stay in touch with the “Daily Show” staff: He emailed with his former Yale classmate and improv comedy partner Steve Bodow, who joined “The Daily Show” as a writer in 2002 and now is an executive producer.
That work-the-umps strategy also involved the president, who used his two Oval Office meetings with Stewart as a chance to sell the administration’s ideas. At the 2011 sit-down, Goolsbee said, the president wanted to counter his critics on the left and lay the groundwork for his 2012 reelection campaign.
“The White House itself was quite interested in at least explaining its side of the story to Jon Stewart,” Goolsbee said, “up to and including the president.”
So like the rest of the media, even comedy is infiltrated by the government. Perhaps not always, but always when it matters.